Liga 1 (Indonesia)
Liga 1 (English: League One) is the men's top professional football division of the Indonesian football league system. Administered by the PT Liga Indonesia Baru (English: New Indonesian League, LLC), Liga 1 is contested by 18 clubs and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Liga 2.
|Organising body||PT Liga Indonesia Baru|
|Founded||2008 (as Indonesia Super League)|
2017 (as Liga 1)
|Number of teams||18|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Liga 2|
|Domestic cup(s)||Piala Indonesia|
|International cup(s)||AFC Cup|
ASEAN Club Championship
|Current champions||Bali United (1st title) |
|Most championships||Persipura (3 titles)|
|Current: 2021 Liga 1|
Top-flight professional league started in Indonesia from the 2008–09 season onwards. Prior to the 2008 reforms, the national competitions used a tournament format. Liga 1, which started in 2017, is the latest rebranding of the league.
Thirty-six teams have competed in the top-tier league of Indonesian professional football, which has gone through multiple rebranding. Eight teams have been crowned champions, with Persipura Jayapura holding the record for winning the national title four times (2009, 2011, 2013, 2016). Persipura in 2009 also topped the inaugural version of the league, known as the Indonesian Super League until 2015.
In 1994, PSSI merged teams from Perserikatan, which was a popular league for amateur clubs representing regional football associations, and Galatama, which was a less popular league made up of semi-professional teams, to form Liga Indonesia, integrating the fanaticism in the Perserikatan and the professionalism of Galatama with the aim of improving the quality of Indonesian football. This effort ushered in a tiered system in the Indonesian competitive football scene. The group stage format, which was used in Perserikatan, was combined with a full competition system followed by semifinal and final rounds like Galatama.
The modern competition era started in 2008 with the 2008-09 Indonesia Super League. The first season began with 18 clubs. The first Indonesia Super League goal was scored by Ernest Jeremiah of Persipura in a 2–2 draw against Sriwijaya F.C.. The 18 inaugural members of the new Indonesia Super League were Persipura, Persiwa, Persib, Persik, Sriwijaya, Persela, Persija, PSM, Pelita Jaya, Arema, Persijap, Persiba, PKT Bontang, Persitara, PSMS, Deltras, Persita, and PSIS. Originally, Persiter and Persmin were qualified to register but they failed the verification requirements to be inaugural members of the Indonesia Super League.
As the football scene in Indonesia is heavily politicized with rival factions upending each other, conflict was the norm prior to 2017. The worst conflict occurred in 2011. After the inauguration of the new PSSI board in 2011, a member of PSSI's Executive Committee and chairman of its Competition Committee, Sihar Sitorus, appointed PT Liga Prima Indonesia Sportindo as the new league operator replacing PT Liga Indonesia because the latter failed to provide an accountability report to the PSSI. Sitorus, one of many politicians in the PSSI, announced the Indonesia Premier League as the new top-level competition in Indonesia. Upon the emergence of Liga Primer Indonesia (LPI), PSSI did not recognize the validity of ISL. ISL regulars PSM, Persema, and Persibo, which had boycotted the ISL operators due to referee and management decisions, gladly defected to join LPI along with splinters of existing ISL teams. However, the 2011 LPI season was stopped mid-season, due to continued schism within PSSI; a new league, Indonesian Premier League (Liga Prima Indonesia, IPL) replaced it in late 2011 for the 2011-12 season. 
Before the schism of PSSI, Sitorus triggered more controversy when he said the new competition would be divided into two regions and there would be an addition of six clubs in the top division, which angered many association members. Thus, 14 teams that supposed to be Indonesia Premier League contestants chose to support the Indonesia Super League that continued to roll under the support of the pro-IPL faction, despite being labeled as an illegal competition. The official PSSI, supported by FIFA and AFC, did not recognize the ISL for two seasons. In the meantime, the Indonesian Premier League became the top-tier league from 2011 to 2013 with only 11 teams.
In a PSSI extraordinary meeting on 17 March 2013, association members slammed Sitorus and decided that the Indonesia Super League would once again emerge as the top-level competition, following the disbandment of the Indonesian Premier League. Sihar and five other PSSI board members were suspended from the sport for their roles in the split (locally referred as dualisme, "dualism" in English) that disrupted Indonesian football.
The new PSSI board also decided that the best seven teams of the 2013 Indonesian Premier League, following verification, would join the unified league. Semen Padang, Persiba Bantul, Persijap, and PSM passed verification, while Perseman, Persepar, and Pro Duta did not, meaning the 2014 season was contested with 22 teams.
Government intervention and FIFA suspensionEdit
The impact of split haunted Indonesian football years after the reconsolidation. On 18 April 2015, Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs Imam Nahrawi officially banned the activities of PSSI after PSSI refused to recognize the recommendations from the Indonesian Professional Sports Agency (BOPI), an agency under the ministry, that Arema Cronus and Persebaya should not pass ISL verification because there were still other clubs using the same name. Previously, Nachrawi had sent three letters of reprimand. However, PSSI refused to answer his call until a predetermined deadline. As a result, PSSI officially stopped all competitions in 2015 season after PSSI's Executive Committee meeting on 2 May 2015 called the government intervention as a force majeure.
The government intervention also led FIFA to punish Indonesia with a one-year suspension of all association football activities as the world body considers overbearing state involvement in footballing matters as a violation against its member PSSI. During the suspension, some tournaments were made to fill the vacuum, starting with the 2015 Indonesia President's Cup, in which Persib came out as champions, until the Bhayangkara Cup closed the series of unrecognized tournaments.
On 13 May 2016, FIFA officially ended the suspension, following the revocation of the Indonesian ministerial decision on 10 May 2016. A long-term tournament with full competition format, Indonesia Soccer Championship, emerged shortly thereafter. The 2016 season saw Persipura taking the title.
In 2017, the top-flight football competition was rebranded under a new official name, Liga 1. The name changes also applied to Premier Division (became Liga 2) and Liga Nusantara (became Liga 3). The operator of the competition was also changed from PT Liga Indonesia (LI) to PT Liga Indonesia Baru (LIB). Bhayangkara is the first champion of the competition under the new name. True to the controversial nature of Indonesian football, the crowning triggered flak from fans. Bhayangkara, a team managed by the Indonesian Police that had no fanbase, won due to head-to-head advantage against Bali United, a team with rapidly growing support due to its modern professional management, after both teams had the same points at the end of the season. Bali United finally won the title in 2019. 
There are 18 clubs in Liga 1. During the course of a season each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system), once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents', for 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then head-to-head records, then goal difference, and then goals scored. If still equal, a drawing held to determine which clubs is above the other. The three lowest placed teams are relegated into Liga 2, and the top two teams from Liga 2, together with the winner of third place play-off involving the loser of Liga 2 semifinals, are promoted in their place.
Promotion and relegationEdit
A system of promotion and relegation exists between Liga 1 and Liga 2. The three lowest placed teams in Liga 1 are relegated to Liga 2, and the top two teams from Liga 2 promoted to the Liga 1, with an additional team promoted after a third-place play-off involving the losers of Liga 2 semifinals. The Indonesian Super League had 22 teams in 2014, its last season before the FIFA suspension, due to the merging of the two professional leagues in Indonesia.
Thirty-six clubs have played in top-flight Indonesian football competitions from the start of the modern era in 2008 as Indonesia Super League, up to and including the 2020 season.
|2015||Did not finish|
|2020||Did not finish|
Most successful clubsEdit
|Club||Winners||Runners-up||Winning seasons||Runner-up seasons|
|Persipura||3||3||2008–09, 2010–11, 2013||2009–10, 2011–12, 2014|
The following 18 clubs will be compete in the Liga 1 during the 2021 season.
|First season in
|First season in
in Liga 1
|First season of
current spell in
|Madura Uniteda, b||5th||1994–95||2008–09||23||11||2008–09||0||N/A|
|Persika||1st in the Liga 2||2003||2008–09||9||4||2020||2||2006|
|Persirajab||3rd in the Liga 2||1994–95||2020||9||1||2020||0||N/A|
|Persitaa||2nd in the Liga 2||1994–95||2008–09||16||4||2020||0||N/A|
- Top division began from 1994–95 season when Galatama and Perserikatan merged to formed Liga Indonesia.
- Badak Lampung, Kalteng Putra, and Semen Padang were relegated to the Liga 2 for the 2020 season, while Persik, Persita, and Persiraja as winners, runners-up, and third-place play-off winners respectively, were promoted from the 2019 Liga 2 season.
a: Founding member of the Liga 1
b: Never been relegated from Liga 1
The following clubs are not competing in the Liga 1 during the 2021 season, but competed in the Liga 1 for at least one season.
|First season in
|First season in
in Liga 1
|Badak Lampung||Liga 2||16th in the Liga 1||2014||2014||2019||5||5||0||N/A|
|Bontanga||Liga 3||Did not enter||1994–95||2008–09||2010–11||16||3||0||N/A|
|Deltrasa||Liga 3||Eliminated in qualifying round
|Kalteng Putra||Liga 2||18th in the Liga 1||2019||2019||2019||1||1||0||N/A|
|Mitra Kukar||Liga 2||Eliminated in second round||1994–95||2011–12||2018||10||6||0||N/A|
|Gresik United||Liga 3||Eliminated in qualifying round
|Persema||Liga 3||Eliminated in qualifying round
|Persibaa||Liga 2||Eliminated in first round||1994–95||2008–09||2017||16||8||0||N/A|
|Persiba Bantul||Liga 3||Eliminated in national round
|Persidafon||Liga 3||Eliminated in qualifying round
|Persitaraa||Liga 3||Eliminated in qualifying round
|PSAP||Liga 3||Eliminated in qualifying round
|PSMSa||Liga 2||Eliminated in second round||1994–95||2008–09||2018||15||3||0||N/A|
|PSPS Riau||Liga 2||Eliminated in first round||2001||2009–10||2013||9||4||0||N/A|
|Semen Padang||Liga 2||17th in the Liga 1||1994–95||2010–11||2019||18||5||0||N/A|
a: Founding member of the Liga 1
All-time Liga 1 tableEdit
The All-time Liga 1 table is an overall record of all match results, points, and goals of every team that has played in Liga 1 since its inception in 2008. The table is accurate as of the end of the 2019 season. Because the 2014 season used a two-region format, as per statistical convention in football, matches decided in extra time are counted as wins and losses, while matches decided by penalty shoot-outs are counted as draws. This all-time table also include the abandoned 2015 season.
- Include stats as Arema Indonesia and Arema Cronus.
- Include stats as Pelita Jaya, Pelita Bandung Raya, and Persipasi Bandung Raya.
- Include stats as Persisam, Persisam Putra Samarinda, and Putra Samarinda.
- Include stats as Persiram, PS TNI, PS TIRA, and TIRA-Persikabo.
- Include stats as Persebaya ISL.
- Include stats as Pusamania Borneo.
- Include stats as Perseru.
- Include stats as PKT Bontang.
- Arema were deducted 3 points in 2013 season.
- Madura United were deducted 3 points in 2017 season.
- Bhayangkara were deducted 3 points in 2014 season.
- PSPS Riau were deducted 3 points in 2010−11 season.
- Gresik United were deducted 3 points in 2017 season.
League or status at 2020:
|2020 Liga 1 teams|
|2020 Liga 2 teams|
|2020 Liga 3 teams|
Foreign players policy has changed multiple times since the league inception.
- 2008–2013: 5 foreign players including 2 Asian quota.
- 2014: 4 foreign players including 1 Asian quota and only 3 can be on the field at a time.
- 2015: 3 foreign players. All 3 players can be on the field.
- 2017: 4 foreign players including 1 Asian quota and 1 marquee player quota. All 4 players can be on the field.
- 2018–present: 4 foreign players including 1 Asian quota. All 4 players can be on the field.
|2014||Emmanuel Kenmogne||Cameroon||Persebaya ISL||25||25||1.00|
|2017||Sylvano Comvalius||Netherlands||Bali United||37||34||1.09|
|2018||Aleksandar Rakić||Serbia||PS TIRA||21||34||0.62|
- Had not been naturalized as an Indonesian citizen that time.
Best young playersEdit
|2013||Jacksen F. Tiago||Brazil||Persipura|
|2019||Stefano Cugurra||Brazil||Bali United|
|2017||Septian David||Indonesia||Mitra Kukar||vs Persiba||10 November 2017|
|2019||David da Silva||Brazil||Persebaya||vs Arema||12 December 2019|
|2008–2012||Djarum||Djarum Indonesia Super League|
|2013–2014||No sponsor||Indonesia Super League|
|2015||QNB Group||QNB League|
|2017||Go-Jek and Traveloka||Go-Jek Traveloka Liga 1|
|2018||Go-Jek||Go-Jek Liga 1|
|2019–2020||Shopee||Shopee Liga 1|
| MNC Media
Kompas Gramedia Group (KG Media)
|Pay TV||2014 and 2015, returned again 2020–present||All 306 matches live on MNC Sports and other in-house MNC Channels in 2020. In 2014 and 2015, only shows selected repeat matches on MNC Sports (MNC Media), as well as live matches on Bola Indonesia (KG Media).|
|Emtek||2018–present||Up to five matches per week live on Indosiar. Most big matches only available via analogue/digital terrestrial antenna.|
|Up to three matches per week, live on O Channel.|
|Streaming||Live on Vidio Premier (pay) and Free (FTA). Up to five live matches per week (including big matches) must require a subscription (live coverage only available for Indonesia viewers) and non-Vidio Premier live matches (excluding big matches) available for free, with free highlights and free full coverage of 306 matches available for Indonesia and other countries via on demand (through all three Indosiar, O Channel, and Liga 1 official Vidio channels).|
|Telkom Indonesia||All 306 matches live, available for IndiHOME and Telkomsel viewers.|
|Free-to-air (FTA)||Pay TV||Streaming|
|2014||N/A||First Media and Big TV||Domikado (Second Round to Final in 2014)|
|2017||tvOne||Orange TV||iflix and SportsFix|
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